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Local Korean War veterans react to peace agreement

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Nearly seven decades after the end of the Korean War, news of a peaceful agreement between the Koreas is welcomed by dozens of Korean War veterans.

The two nations agreed to jointly push for talks with the United States and also potentially China to officially end the 1950-53 Korean War, which stopped in an armistice and left the Koreas still technically at war.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced after a Friday summit that the Koreas will push for three-way talks including Washington or four-way talks that also include Beijing on converting the armistice into a peace treaty and establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The Koreas said they hope the parties could declare an official end to the war by the end of this year.

Fifty-four local Korean War veterans gathered Friday night at Plainfield High School to prepare for an Indy Honor flight that will go to the nation's capital Saturday.

Friday's shocking announcement from the Koreas was the talk of the night.

"I think it's great," Korean War veteran Ed Solinski said. "They should have done it 65 years ago!"

"I say if they can do it, go for it," Korean War veteran John Hartsock said. "There's a lot of feeling and background there that I'm sure will come out. But, at the same token, if they can work things out, I say go for it."

"That's good!" Korean War veteran Carlos Webb said. "That's good! We need to make sure they don't build any more missiles in North Korea."

While fighting ended 65 years ago, the wounds of war are still very apparent, as many vets remember the war as if it was yesterday.

"Once the guys were in the ditch, the sniper had to beat on me in the ditch," Webb said. "The airplane took the sniper out."

Solinski said, "On the 89th day I spent in a trench ready to have the North Koreans or Chinese attack us the next morning."

It's a call for peace that's healing wounds nearly 70 years in the making.

"All told, I would say everyone feels that if people can really get together and work it out and have peace, that's the way to go," Hartsock said.

"It should have been all over a long time ago," Solinski said.

The Indy Honor Flight leaves at 7:30 a.m. Saturday from Plainfield High School. The 54 Korean veterans will on the flight along with 17 veterans from the Vietnam War and 18 from World War II.

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